Bellew Livid Over McIntosh No-Show; Gerber-Harris Set
British champ vows to make Danny pay for lack of respect
Tony Bellew lashed out at Danny McIntosh in Wednesday’s (April 25) press conference after McIntosh failed to make it to Liverpool.
McIntosh cited travel problems as the reason for not getting to the Hilton Hotel in Bellew’s backyard, where the British light heavyweight champion defends his belt against the Norwich man on Friday at the Echo Arena live on Sky Sports.
Bellew replaced ‘Big Mac’ with the fast food sandwich that he takes his nickname from, and although the champ shared a laugh with the assembled media, he soon let rip at the former European champ for not showing his face.
“It is total disrespect from Danny to the press, Sky Sports and to me – it’s pathetic really,” said Bellew. “I know what he’s trying to do and there’s no point trying to play mind games with me.
“I don’t eat Big Macs but I’ll make an exception on Friday night – he’s getting chewed up and spat out. The problem is that he’s only coming for the cheque, he might walk off with a good payday but he’ll have a big defeat and a bust up face to show for his night.
“It’s great being back on Sky Sports, it’s a dream. There are great fighters out there that are dying because they don’t have a profile and when you are on Sky Sports, that’s what you get, and you need that to fight for the big titles and money, which is where I think I should be.”
Bellew returns to action for the first time since his tight and spirited World title challenge to Nathan Cleverly in October at the same venue. Many pundits gave the decision to the Liverpudlian, but it was Cleverly that held on to the title through majority decision. Bellew was far from impressed when Cleverly defended his title against little known American Tommy Karpency, and is angry that despite emerging from the fight with great credit, he has not been back in the ring until now.
“I’m coming off the back of my best performance and I feel that I have been punished for fighting so well,” said Bellew. “I’ve been left of the shelf for way too long and I’ll take it out on Danny on Friday.
“Cleverly is the weakest World champion, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. But he doesn’t want it, so let’s move on and look at better fighters. The fact is that he is not fighting the right fighters – if I was fighting carpet fitters and plumbers I wouldn’t be happy and there’s something wrong there. Danny is a bigger threat than Tommy Karpency, a guy who went back to his corner and wanted out after the third round – that’s not right. But there’s more out there than Nathan for me, I will fight anyone and I guarantee excitement, bums on seats and TV viewers.”
Before Bellew can take the next step in his career he needs to deal with McIntosh, with Tony believing that the Dominic Ingle trained 32 year old does not put in the same effort to prepare for fights as he does.
“Danny doesn’t do things right outside the ring and I know that because it’s my business to know what he does outside the ring,” said Bellew. “He’ll be in hot baths in Sheffield to make the weight and I’m bang on it now. But he’s a dangerous fighter and he’s a bigger puncher than Cleverly so I’m not taking this lightly whatsoever – I’m just supremely confident that I have far too much for him or any other domestic light heavyweight.
“I’m beyond that level now but on Friday the talking stops and I have to put something special on for the fans and viewers because I’ve been out for too long. There’s no use me just getting by him on points or something, I need to look explosive and devastating – and that’s the plan.”
Tickets are priced at £30, £40, £60 and £80 with VIP tickets at £150.
The May 5 fight card at the Messehalle in Erfurt is going to be stacked up with big clashes for titles, like Marco Huck defending the WBO crown at cruiserweight against Ola Afolabi as well as Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Dimitrenko challenging for the vacant European Championship at heavyweight. Besides these highlights, the show is also going to offer some young guns who are trying to make themselves a name and entertain the crowd.
One of them is Edmund Gerber, who is currently, according to his manager Wilfried Sauerland, the biggest heavyweight talent to come out of Germany. Trained by Karsten Roewer, the Schwerin-native already has 19 wins in 19 fights under his belt, 13 of them coming by way of knockout.
The European Boxing Union (EBU) ranks him inside their top ten, which shows that he could already be considered to fight for their prestigious title. However, the 23-year-old Gerber does not just aim for a top ranking in Europe, but in the world. Therefore, a victory over Maurice Harris (25-15-2, 11 KOs) could be a big step forward as he is the current the number nine in the IBF ratings.
“I have had some sparring sessions with him last November which showed me that he is no slouch,” said Gerber of Harris. “That is why he held up his training intensity after his last fight in February. “I just took one week off before being back in the gym. We have specifically worked a lot on my stamina since.”
More over, stamina could really be a key factor against 36-year-old Maurice Harris, who is accustomed to fight over longer distances. In his last outing versus a then-still ambitioned Derric Rossy, the veteran fighter knocked out his younger compatriot in round twelve to win the USBA heavyweight title.
Furthermore, not only his age speaks volumes of his experience but also the names he fought over his career: Tony Thompson, Fres Oquendo, Henry Akinwande, Chris Byrd, Larry Holmes, Siarhei Liakhovich, Jeremy Williams and David Izon. Of those named fighters, he was able to beat the latter three.
Edmund Gerber knows: “You have to pressure him right from to start, make him work hard to be able to beat him. I have to be absolutely focused till the bout is over because of him having this knockout power until the end.”